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Michigan Readies DFS Pick ‘Em Ban

Gaming regulators in Michigan are moving forward with a ban on the increasingly popular player prop pick ’ems found on daily fantasy sports (DFS)sites. The move comes as multiple states are banning the games, which lawmakers say are a form of unregulated sports betting, not DFS.

The Michigan Gaming Control Board formally introduced the ban this week and since there was no objection from the Michigan State Senate, the rule changes will move directly to the state’s Secretary of State (SOS). Once the SOS approves the ban, the impact on operators offering the pick ’ems will be immediate and severe.

It’s expected that PrizePicks, a DFS operator that has dominated DFS app downloads for the first month of the NFL season, will be forced to stop operating in Michigan entirely. Other DFS operators such as DraftKings and FanDuel do not offer DFS pick ’ems of this sort and will not be impacted by the ban.

Some DFS operators, including Underdog Fantasy have suggested that DraftKings and FanDuel are the real forces lobbying for the Pick ‘Em ban. In a recent press release from the Coalition for Fantasy Sports reported on by Legal Sports Report, impacted operators pointed out massive public support for the games saying, “Thousands of Michiganders reached out to lawmakers asking that the MGCB rules be rejected, submitting over 2,600 emails and making over 700 phone calls. Despite the public appeal, JCAR members held no meeting and took no action before their 15-day window expired yesterday, thereby approving the Board’s rules by default.”

But the coalition is likely fighting a losing battle. DFS player prop pick ’ems are increasingly under fire and have been banned in New York and Florida in just the past several weeks. It’s expected that most states where these games are offered will eventually come to the same conclusion, making DFS player props a thing of the past.